Extraordinarily creative people have extraordinarily creative ideas. But bringing their ideas to fruition relies on the right technology.
Debbie Tan is Aquabumps’ co-owner and creative director. Founded in 1999, Aquabumps is the daily e-newsletter that features Bondi life at dawn which her photographer husband Eugene “Uge” Tan sends to hundreds and thousands of followers.
Debbie had a vision to collaborate with Australian-born, New-York-based fashion designer Dion Lee and the Australian Ballet, with Uge capturing incredible underwater images of the dancers in Lee’s signature knitwear.
The creative team relied on Dropbox Paper to bring the dream to reality, using the technology to store creative concepts, test shots and artwork in one central repository. Specifically designed for creative collaboration, Dropbox Paper is one of the tech company’s offerings which allows users to collaborate in real time.
Asha Thurthi is Dropbox’s general manager and vice president of new businesses. She says its 700 million users across 180 countries – many of whom are creatives – really value the way Dropbox is able to make technical and complex workflows super simple.
“It’s especially significant in a world currently celebrating the rise of the ‘creator’. These are the people who make your favourite TikToks and Instagram Stories, who are an increasingly important cohort in the creative world.”
According to venture capital firm Antler’s research there are currently 50 million creators globally, of which 48 million are amateur and 2 million are professional. The number of creators – many of which are “solopreneurs”, a portmanteau of entrepreneur and sole trader – is only expected to rise and whole industries are emerging to support them.
Research conducted by the University of Technology, Sydney, and the Creative Industries Innovation Centre, says the creative sector contributes about $90.2 billion to the Australian national economy annually, adds almost $46.9 billion to Australia’s gross domestic product and helps generate $3.2 billion in exports annually. It’s a significant sector that relies on technology to thrive.
Tech supporting the pivot
Indeed, technology has been especially important over the past year, with the businesses that have fared really well during pandemic being digital-first and cloud-based.
These businesses were able to almost immediately switch to working from home, mobilising their entire workforce to a remote environment, says Thurthi.
“Covid has changed our world forever. During the last year and a half, the nature of work, life and business has changed. The number of solopreneurs has boomed and isn’t showing any sign of slowing down at all. The most successful are those who have embraced technology that has been specifically designed for distributed work, allowing them to stay connected via tools such as video conferencing and chat. They can keep their work moving forward with tools like Dropbox, which offers teams one organised place for their content and collaboration around it.”
Thurthi says Dropbox is dedicated to supporting its users to turn their creative passions into businesses. “We want to simplify complexities through technologies. Creators care deeply about their craft. They care about their audiences. Finding the most effective and scalable way to distribute, manage and protect their content is secondary.”
Dropbox is able to automate this aspect of their operations, giving them the freedom and autonomy they crave.
“Creatives want to focus on doing the work that fuels them. Whether it’s a photographer from Cleveland, or a broadcaster in Southern California, or a film maker in Sydney, doing creative work is all they care about. They don’t want to have to worry about managing the backend of what it takes for them to get their work done,” she adds.
Ultimately, Dropbox supports creatives by helping them to simplify their creative process and reduce complexity so they can focus on what they do best.
Says Thurthi: “Our advice to creatives to be successful is to invest in technology that helps them protect their creative output. By providing a centralised place for all of their creative content, and collaboration around it, no matter if they’re a digital nomad, solopreneur or anything in between; Dropbox wants to be part of their hustle.”